Kelly Ripa didn’t show up to work today, and she might not be back on ‘Live’ for a while…according to new reports.
While Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan have had great on-screen chemistry these last four years, it’s been longstanding knowledge that their relationship isn’t so great behind-the-scenes.
Sources confirm to EW that Michael’s sudden departure from ‘Live’ might just be the last straw when it comes to Kelly and Michael’s already strained relationship.
Insiders told PEOPLE that after Ripa was “completely blindsided” by the news that Strahan was joining Good Morning America full time in September, she decided not to come into work Wednesday. Saturday Night Live alum Ana Gasteyer filled in while Strahan made it official by confirming his departure and thanking Ripa for his time on the show. “She has been an amazing influence on me, and this has truly changed my life to be here with her,” said Strahan, who has been appearing on GMA twice a week since 2014.
EW has also learned that Ripa is sometimes kept out of the loop on certain developments involving Live. It’s unclear when she will return to the show.
“Kelly told ABC she wasn’t coming in last night,” a ;source told PEOPLE. “They don’t know yet when she’ll be back.”
Ripa is currently on year four of her latest, five-year contract that expires next year. She’s been on the show for 15 years.
Another source tells Mail Online that Kelly isn’t planning to come back until Michael makes his departure.
No reason was given for the sudden absence and it is now unclear when she will return to the work, with multiple sources at ABC telling DailyMail.com that Ripa is refusing to turn up to work until Strahan leaves the show.
The sources claimed Ripa was blindsided by the decision to move Strahan, adding that the company thinks the success of Good Morning America is more important than Live, and had grown concerned as GMA has become increasingly threatened by Today in recent months.
A source close to Ripa said: ‘Kelly isn’t making any demands. She is very hurt that Disney hasn’t even spoken to her yet so they are assuming that she isn’t coming back.’
The source added: ‘She wants to wait and see what happens. She’d also like someone to do the right thing and speak to her face to face rather than plot and plan behind her back.’
Meanwhile, sources claimed the decision to move Strahan to Good Morning America was all the work of Disney Media co-chair and former ABC News president Ben Sherwood.
The sources said Sherwood is hoping to stabilize Good Morning America and believes that Strahan is perfect for the show’s 8:00 hour.
Even bosses at Good Morning America were unaware of the move, a source said, although a representative for ABC firmly denied the claim.
‘This decision was all Ben Sherwood. Ben has always been ambitious and this is his way of trying to save Good Morning America while also positioning himself to be Bob Iger’s successor running all of Disney,’ one source at ABC said.
Who knew a morning show could have so much DRAMA?